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Published: Sunday, 6/4/2006

Recipes take healthy approach to soul food

Healthier cooking and eating for good nutrition is a topic of cookbooks, schools, and even recipe contests.

A new magazine-style cookbook is designed to help African-Americans eat healthy and reduce their risk of stroke and heart disease. Soul Food Recipes from the American Stroke Association, a division the American Heart Association, offers 43 easy-to-follow heart-healthy recipes, including Coconut Layer Cake made with white cake mix, pureed pears, egg whites, light yogurt, and fat-free or light whipped topping.

Other recipes include Smothered Steak, Southern Corn Bread, Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes, and Rich and Creamy Mac and Cheese. Priced at $3.99, Soul Food Recipes is available for a limited time at major grocery store checkout stands nationwide. The Soul Food Recipes booklet will be sold through participating grocers such as Kroger, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Meijer s, and Target, according to Sonya Thomas of the American Heart Association.

Coconut Layer Cake Coconut Layer Cake
Enlarge

Vegetable oil spray

1 18.5-ounce package white cake mix

1 cups water

1 6-ounce jar baby food pureed pears

Whites of 3 large eggs

cup fat-free or light plain yogurt

cup unsifted confectioners sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 or 2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

8 ounces (about 3 cups) frozen fat-free or light whipped topping, thawed in refrigerator, divided

3 to 4 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray two 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray.

In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, water, pears, and egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat according to package directions. Pour batter into cake pans, smoothing the tops.

Bake 22 minutes or until cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to cooling racks. Let cool 10 minutes. Turn cake onto racks and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, confectioners sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and food coloring. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Refrigerate the remaining whipped topping separately.

Place one cake layer on a large plate. Top with yogurt mixture, then with the remaining cake layer. Spread remaining whipped topping over the side and top of the cake. Sprinkle the top with coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrients per serving: 249 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 1 gm monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 331 mg sodium, 47 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams total sugars, 1 gram dietary fiber, 4 grams protein.

Source: Soul Food Recipes

If you are the parent of elementary school children in the Perrysburg school district who received a survey about school lunch and physical activity, the survey needs to be returned in the self-addressed, stamped envelop by June 9.

The study is designed to identify potential food lunch offerings, current eating patterns of elementary-school children, and the barriers to making healthy food choices.

With the cooperation of the Perrysburg School Wellness Committee and under the direction of school nurse Alice Bruning and school food service director Lila Szozda, Ohio State University is conducting the survey. Surveys were mailed to the parents of elementary-school children about school lunch and ways to increase its value to families in the Perrysburg school district.

For more information, contact Alice Bruning at Perrysburg High School or the Ohio State University Extension at 419-354-9050 or 419-213-4254.

There s still time to enter the Uncle Ben s Whole Grains Made Easy Recipe Contest. Judges are looking for healthy, delicious, well-balanced recipes that include lean meats, fresh vegetables, and at least one package of Uncle Ben s whole grains product. For more information and to submit recipes by June 16, visit www.unclebens.com. The grand prize winner will be announced July 31 and will receive an all-expenses-paid weekend for two at a culinary school in New York.

The Dairy Council Mid East notes that small, achievable steps such as walking and practicing portion control can help reverse obesity. They advise:

• Don t skip breakfast

• Exercise

• Reduce dietary fat

• Increase fruits and vegetables

• Follow portion control

In addition, adults who eat out frequently are significantly overweight as compared to those who eat at home.

It has also been found that overweight people sit 150 minutes more each day on the average than their leaner counterparts and burn 350 fewer calories per day.



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